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Ricoh Corp. v. Pitney Bowes Inc.

June 25, 2007

RICOH CORP., ET AL., PLAINTIFFS,
v.
PITNEY BOWES INC., DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Brown, Chief Judge

MEMORANDUM OPINION

This matter comes before the Court upon the Motion for Bill of Costs and Disbursements of Defendant Pitney Bowes, Inc. ("Pitney Bowes" or "Defendant"). The Court has reviewed all submissions to the Court and ruled on the motion without oral argument pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 78. For the reasons set forth below, Pitney Bowes' motion is granted in part and denied in part.

I. BACKGROUND

On November 26, 2002, Plaintiffs Ricoh Corp. and Ricoh Company, Ltd. (collectively, "Plaintiffs" or "Ricoh"), filed a Complaint in this Court alleging that Defendant Pitney Bowes infringed its patents numbers 5,544,289, 5,568,618, 5,537,554, 5,649,120 and 5,774,678 (the "Motoyama Patents"). In response, Pitney Bowes set forth the affirmative defense that the Motoyama patents were invalid on the grounds of anticipation and obviousness. A jury trial was held in this matter from October 31 to November 30, 2006. The jury found that Pitney Bowes infringed the Motoyama Patents, but found that those patents were invalid on the grounds of anticipation. Accordingly, the jury did not award Ricoh any of the compensatory or punitive damages it sought. On June 6, 2007, Pitney Bowes filed its Motion for a Bill of Costs and Disbursements, seeking an award in the amount of $149,813.43.

II. DISCUSSION

A. Whether Pitney Bowes' Bill of Costs is Timely

Ricoh contends that Pitney Bowes' motion should be denied on the grounds that it is premature. The timeliness of a motion for a bill of costs is governed by Local Civil Rule 54.1, which provides that:

(a) Within 30 days after the entry of a judgment allowing costs, or within 30 days of the filing of an order dispositive of the last of any time-filed post-trial motions, whether or not an appeal has been filed, the prevailing party shall serve on the attorney for the adverse party and file with the Clerk a Bill of Costs and Disbursements, together with a notice of motion . . . .

L. CIV. R. 54.1(a) (emphasis added).

In the case at bar, the Court ruled on both parties' post-trial motions in a decision dated May 8, 2007. Pitney Bowes' motion was filed on June 6, 2007, twenty-nine days later. The Court therefore finds it to have been filed in a timely manner. Ricoh's contention that "it would be premature to rule on Pitney Bowes' Bill of Costs before the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has resolved this case on appeal" is simply inconsistent with the plain language of the rule. Pl. Opp'n at 3-4.

B. Whether Pitney Bowes is Entitled to Taxation of Costs

1. Prevailing Party

Under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 54(d)(1),

[e]xcept when express provision therefor is made either in a statute of the United States or in these rules, costs other than attorney's fees shall be allowed as of course to the ...


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